Attacks on Jews and the Jewish state are far from uncommon in the sermons and public appearances of imams in the U.S., writes Mohammed Al-Azdee. For instance:
In a series of interviews with the Egyptian Al-Nas and Al-Rahma TV channels in December 2008, Imam Salah Sultan, president of the American Center for Islamic Research (ACIR), a nonprofit organization registered in Ohio and headquartered in Columbus, spoke about the evil and violent nature of the Jews. . . . Imam Sultan referred to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated anti-Semitic text purporting to describe the Jews’ plan for world domination, to suggest that the conflict against the Jews is not only about Islam, but rather about the future of all of mankind.
Al-Azdee also notes how often such rhetoric fails to disguise anti-Semitism as mere anti-Zionism:
A vivid example in this regard is the way Imam Abolfazl Bahram Nahidian of the Manassas Mosque in Virginia criticized Israel while speaking to the crowd attending the 2010 Al-Quds Day Rally in Washington, DC. . . . It is evident, however, that Imam Nahidian was using Israel as a way to refer to Jews in general: “All the plots and the schemes that they make are to destroy humanity. They say, ‘The land, the leadership, and the wealth of the world belong to us, as the chosen people of God.’ Yes, they [the Jews] are the chosen people of God—to be the most devilish ones on the earth. They are doing that so they will stay above the rest of humanity.”
Congressional hearings show that the imams analyzed in this article are not just isolated cases. In 2021, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) published an archive of around 450 pages recording the hatred, anti-Semitism, and incitement in sermons by imams of mosques throughout the U.S. . . . But if any audience is still doubtful regarding these findings, I encourage them to search for . . . any statement of any imam in the U.S. in which the imam states that the Jews are not pigs, apes, filthy, evil, [or the like].